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Thread: Gigs upstairs

  1. #1
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    Gigs upstairs

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    Don't you just love gigs that are upstairs. Against my better judgement and because I wanted the money I took a booking for a PA in an upstairs venue in the middle of town, not far from where I lived.

    First thing is that you get there and there is no parking outside, so I double parked to quickly unload into the foyer, no sooner then opening the rear door of the van and a bus was trying to turn the corner so I had to move, I then found a park round the corner across the road that was a 15 min park.

    So wheeled the gear across into the venue (ground floor) and then loaded into the lift. Because I had brought my compact system (new gear is great for this) I managed to load the whole PA in one load. Problem was that the floor with the gig (2nd floor) was still locked out of use as they only had the 3rd floor venue open during the day. So no worries, I'l run upstairs and get it unlocked . Go to stairs and guess what? The doors to the stairs are locked and the only access was the lift to the 3rd floor. Run back to the lift but that has disappeared with the PA inside. By now the 15 min parking had run out so needed to move the van. Some all night free spots had opened up by then but had to do a lap on the block due to the one way streets.

    Parked the van and headed back to the venue. The doors to the stairs were now open and some very exhausted people were walking down from the 3rd floor (6 flights), because the lift was full of PA and they could not get in went up the 2nd floor to get the PA but now the lift was heading down with the PA in it, however it soon returned when the people downstairs found it full

    A staff member helped empty the lift (thanks ) and all was good.

    Loading out from the show was easier as everyone had left by then the lift was free and late at night I could park on the footpath. Don't you just love this stuff, reminds me of why I like studio work.

    Alan

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  3. #2
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    One upstairs gig was a club on Rte 1 at the main entrance to U of MD. No elevator. About 30 steps up. Nice place, had their own soundboard at
    the end of a long ass saloon-like bar, where the place opened up to tables. We were 2 guitars and a drummer, with one guitar amp.. I was DI on
    the bass.

    We did a quick soundcheck with the sound man, then the guitar player and drummer went downstairs and disappeared for almost an hour. I'm left on
    stage with my... BASS in my hand shooting the breeze with the sound guy. The guy said he wanted to check some adjustments while we were waiting
    and asked me to start playing.. anything. Well, I played half our first set solo before the gang returned. The sound man asked me what bass I was
    using and I said it was a Fender Precision, brand new, just bought it earlier that day. He said it was the best sounding bass he'd heard since
    starting his gig there. Then our guitar player and drummer told me the gig was off. Not one customer had wandered in. They said they
    were tied up waiting on the manager downstairs and he told them the dates were all mixed up and see ya later. The End.
    Failure - - the path of least persistence
    And, uh, oh - hire a decorator to come in here quick, 'cause... DAMN.

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    funny storys, dripping in sarcasm...

    my short lived "live" career had a upstairs story, 1977 or so.

    Gig was up some very skinny stairway, we had rock band fake large PA speakers to look like Led Zepplin...etc..etc..a lot of large pa cabs and speaker cabs.

    After painfully unloading the moving truck/ uhaul size of gear.... a very old man approached the bass player/booking manager and said "there must be a mistake....we wanted a Polka band"

    So we carried it all back down the stairs to the truck.

    stories like these is why "flight of the concordes" and "spinal tap" are so funny...with some cheech and chong sprinkled in...

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Here's one that's upstairs related..

    Early 80's, our band got a gig playing a "hot spot" in downtown Alexandria, Va., just off the water. The area was (is) full
    of 18th & 19th century buildings - homes and shops. The young crowds were "yuppies" back then. We're to play for the door
    @ $4.00 a head.

    We unload from the street into a downstairs area so spartan as to have been a possible soup kitchen/ministry - nary a piece of
    furniture nor hint of restaurant-bar was visible. Upstairs however, a thriving night spot full of patrons in semi-formal attire
    seated on high chairs at cafe tables, sipping wine as soft jazz from a live trio filled the room. Imagine the four of us in our
    street clothes meandering about as we tried to connect with the person who booked us.

    Once connected, we're told we don't play the upper room.. we play the empty downstairs room, and we get to keep all the door money.

    We set up and played to an empty room for about 25 minutes - watching patrons come and go from the upstairs spot (they had to walk
    through our room to get to the stairs). At this point, our lead guitarist said **** this!, let's pack up and go home. I suggested
    since this would have been one of our regular practice nights we should continue with a practice session. I was quickly voted down
    and we split.
    Failure - - the path of least persistence
    And, uh, oh - hire a decorator to come in here quick, 'cause... DAMN.

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    I'm getting so old and decrepit when we do this one gig up a flight of stairs the Mark V head stays home and the back-up Quilter Aviator goes up.
    Placebo stomps 96k ....... Recent projects
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    OK, slam if you must. But with these new interfaces and DAW plug ins, would it not be possible to run a live session through DAW, everyone DI except for drummer, get the mix set, run it through a PA. Only thing needed would be cables, laptop, interface and decent PA.

    What is wrong with the above description as I have been thinking of playing out, but I really want to keep the setup simple.
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    Possible but the more inputs the less practical it is. Also there is the KISS rule: Guitar/bass +cable+ amp/sim box is simpler by far meaning less to go wrong. Plenty of location recordings go down cuz a computer that "was just working a second ago" decides to freak out. For a singer/songwriter with a guitar and maybe a midi keyboard it's doable, I have seen it myself. I would want to check out the venue ahead of time to see if there is stable power , proper monitoring , etc before I tried this though.
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2019 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM60 View Post
    OK, slam if you must. But with these new interfaces and DAW plug ins, would it not be possible to run a live session through DAW, everyone DI except for drummer, get the mix set, run it through a PA. Only thing needed would be cables, laptop, interface and decent PA.

    What is wrong with the above description as I have been thinking of playing out, but I really want to keep the setup simple.
    My original point was that I had to set up a PA system 2 floors up with a hard load in, not talking about recording or DAW systems, I was the one mixing the live sound for the audience. Also in your post where did the decent PA system appear from?

    Alan

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by witzendoz View Post
    My original point was that I had to set up a PA system 2 floors up with a hard load in, not talking about recording or DAW systems, I was the one mixing the live sound for the audience. Also in your post where did the decent PA system appear from?

    Alan
    I was just wondering for simplicity of loading in/out, would the use of such a system work. I wasn't commenting so much on your post but it made me wonder about some way for this to be easier.
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  11. #10
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    The easiest way to track a live gig is to use a QSC Touchmix 16, I have one and not only mixed the PA on it but multi tracked every channel before effects and EQ, and recored the stereo mix as sent to the speakers.

    Alan.

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